Let’s ponder three burning questions for the Sabres in 2019-20 …
1. How will their goaltending situation play out?
The San Jose Sharks will tell you, confidently, that team save percentage during the regular season means very little.
In their case, they’re not lying, per se. Still, it would be stretching the truth based on a complete anomaly.
And as bad as the Sharks were between the pipes in the regular season, they still had enough talent to put them into the Western Conference Final.
How does this relate at all to the Buffalo Sabres some 2,700 miles away? Well, it outlines how much better the Sharks were in front of Martin Jones despite an inferior team save percentage. The Sabres are a team that couldn’t be saved by outscoring their opponents and therefore their 22nd-ranked team save percentage of .901 had quite the bearing on their outcome in 2018-19.
There wasn’t much between Carter Hutton and Linus Ullmark last season. Both played well along with the team early on in the season, when the Sabres were battling for first in the East. That all came crashing down in the second half, however, as team defense took a nosedive, bringing their season along with it.
Ullmark, who signed a one-year extension with the team on Saturday, enters once again as the backup but should see significant time as he did last year, especially if Hutton struggles again.